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Vermont Gran Fondo

by John Sumner • August 30, 2021

Vermont Gran Fondo - 96 miles 8688' climbing.

Warm day in central Vermont, early August. This was a ride, but with the police and support motorcycles lead out you would have thought it was a race. Well, it was for those at the front. I hung with the leaders for the first fifteen miles but soon realized I had another 85 miles to go. This included the Appalachian gap and Lincoln gap. The Lincoln gap is the steepest paved mile in the USA. Reaching 26% gradient and grinding a 40/26, I made all but the last .1 mile, passing many walking then I soon became a victim to this beast.

At the top, several riders who blew past me were having serious internal and others vocal dialogues with themselves and others about their cycling life choices. No, It did not matter your level of fitness here, gravity was the KOM today, except for Ted King, who was not part of this ride but demolished the segment on Strava this day.

Gnarly downhill gravel and paved descents led to over 50mph sections and constant undulating mixed terrain was waiting for you all day long. I was prepared and just kept grinding, hydrating, and sticking to my limits. In the group I was in, each rider had strengths and weaknesses however a small group of us wound up together at the flat 4-mile loop around town to the finish.

All in all, I was in the top 20 for the day and glad I have the opportunity to live in a very hilly part of the country to train. I felt prepared and enjoyed the day.

This ride should have a race component and not be overlooked.

Fund Riding in the Tetons
Gravel Worlds 2021